Time for a change

I have had my blog for almost a year and I have loved telling you all about my studies and a few side bits along the way.

However now I have my new job and I won’t be going back to do my level 3 right now, I feel the blog is going to take a slight change.

I am really loving the job and at the moment my focus is getting to know the whole Lush range and so I am trying and testing lots of items right now.  The most logical path I guess would be to start keeping you up to date on the items I have tried and loved!

I do still intend to take on elements of training in beauty along the way in my free time and of course I will update you on how that is working out too but I just wanted you all to be aware that there may be less beauty talk and more Lush talk for the moment.

So on that note, if there are any products you would like me to try and review for you then let me know!  I am open to trying pretty much anything and this week I even tried the powder deodorants which was something I never thought I would do! (they do totally work though!)

A first hand reason to choose products not tested on animals

Recently I came across a wonderful lady and her dog Sasha (she actually has 2 dogs but Sasha is the reason for this story) and it demonstrated the perfect reason why I do my level best to buy products that were not tested on animals.

Speak for Sasha

So often we try to push it to the back of our mind and ignore the fact that the product we are buying was perhaps tested on a poor little animal, an animal just like Sasha.

I asked her owner to write a little story for you all in the hope of sharing her story and one very good reason for us to vote with our feet and buy BUAV approved products.

“Alone in a cage. Wire mesh at her feet. A bowl of food and water that nobody cared if she ate or drank out of. She had to relieve herself in that small space too. Drooling out of stress. Shivering constantly in fear. Never felt sunlight on her skin or the cool breeze on her face. Her identity, a number, 8699640, painfully tattooed inside her ear. Bred to be a laboratory beagle.

De-barked to prevent her from making a noise. The only interaction with any other beast (two or four legged) was to receive pain. Needles injecting drugs, needles drawing blood from her veins. Day in and day out for four long years. Never felt the warmth of a human cuddle, not even the comfort of a warm bed to sleep in. Without knowing any life outside of this cage, what did she hope for, what did she dream of? Destined to suffer a lonely existence, destined to die alone.

Until one day, the laboratory decided to release her to an animal welfare organization after the experimentation was done rather than kill her as is the usual practice. A few weeks in quarantine and she was ready to be adopted. I went to the office of the animal welfare organization where she was being kept. Small, tail tucked in between her legs, back hunched over to make herself smaller than she already was, she came towards me, walking in circles. I didn’t reach out to touch her as that would have scared her further. Instead I sat down on the ground, making myself appear smaller. I didn’t even look at her directly, as even that would scare her. She slowly approached me, licked my toes and ran away. She did this a few times, then climbed onto my lap and we both knew that she was finally where she truly belonged. She had taken a huge leap of faith and I was not going to let her down.

She came home the next day and even though her previous identity could never be erased from her ear, she was now going to build her life around a new name – Sasha. The first few weeks were extremely overwhelming for her. Every little sound scared her, including the sound of curtains being drawn. Any sudden movement, like the movement of a hand, even though not intended to harm her, would make her cower close to the ground. But slowly she learnt to trust, she learned to put her faith in humans to take care of her.

She found a best friend in our other dog Calvin. She got used to toys, treats, cuddles, walks and all the other things that dogs should normally take for granted. She still flinches when her paws are touched and tenses when a young man enters her space indoors, but she is a brave brave puppy who is working through her fears everyday.

The very thought of my baby girl suffering in a cage her whole life, made me angry, very angry. I am of the belief that if you are not part of the solution, then you remain a part of the problem. Many life saving pharmaceutical drugs may be hard to avoid because they are tested on animals but what about so many other day to day products that we use that are tested on animals? Shampoo, shower gels, make up, deodorant, household cleaners, artificial sweeteners… do we really need to consume the brands knowing that they have been created by the torture and death of millions of animals?

How many of us are even aware that we begin our day with cruelty with the toothpaste we use? What are the alternatives available? Instead of sustaining the demand for products that are tested on animals based on the glossy advertisements that they show on television, how about creating demand for products that are not tested on animals?

From all these questions, arose my page on Facebook – Speak for Sasha. It is a space to figure out together what cruelty free brands are available in the market. It is a space to be a part of little Sasha’s journey as she finds joy in simple things like a dried leaf. It is a space to collectively give voice to the millions of animals still in tiny metal cages, with chemicals being squirted into their eyes or rubbed into their skin. Every time we pick up a product from a supermarket shelf, we are taking the important decision to keep them there. Now is the time to be aware, to make a change, to bring those animals out of the cages and into a world of sunshine and love.”

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“When my human gave me a toy for the first time, I didn’t know what to do with it, there were no toys in the laboratory cage where I used to live. She along with Calvin taught me how to play and now, I can’t have enough of ’em.”

So will you vote with your feet to free animals just like Sasha from a lifetime of pain? Is your lipstick, mascara or dishwasher tablet worth their pain?

My choice is to spend my money elsewhere, with the people who are doing all they can to create their products without the need for mindless torture on little animals, I hope your choice will be similar.  It might be a harder road for us in learning which products are cruelty free but there are some wonderful websites out there that can help you such as:

http://www.buav.org/

http://www.peta.org.uk/

http://www.gocrueltyfree.org/

For more information on Sashas story (and more cute photos of her and Calvin) visit her facebook page here.

What happens when you forget about SPF?

Today was another family day trip to take the littley out.  As part of the day trip we went to the seaside and spent a few hours on the beach and walking along the seafront.

Now I should say that I was feeling pretty crappy care of hayfever and so I didn’t actually bother to put on any make-up.  The importance of that is that had I put my make-up on this morning, I would have saved my face from getting burnt!

Yes, that’s right, I got burnt.  In fact so did the other half.  We slathered our daughter in sun screen twice during the outing and applied a little to ourselves only once.  I say a little because I put it on my arms, chest and face but totally forgot about my back!  My poor back really is the worst burnt part of me while my face and shoulders are a lighter shade of pink.

With this in mind, I thought I would remind you all to put your SPF on this summer even if your only going out in the sun for a few hours.

As I said above, had I put on my foundation, it does contain an SPF 15 and that would have been enough to protect my face that extra bit to prevent me burning.  Along with foundation, there are many other lovely items you can use to keep yourself protected which include:

  • British Nanny by Lush – Facial moisturiser with SPF 30, cost £25.95
  • Autograph Smooth Matt mousse foundation with SPF 15, cost £9.50
  • Malibu SPF 30 High Protection Lotion, cost £3.99

A few of the Lush moisturisers offer SPF although British Nanny does seem to offer the highest level of protection.  Price wise it is a little on the high side so an alternative could be to mix one of your favourite Lush moisturisers with the Malibu SPF (note this would give you a diluted SPF).

I know I have blogged about the M&S foundations before but I am not sure if I mentioned the mousse foundation?  If not I really should have as I do love mine for it’s ability to match my pale skin tone perfectly!  The fact that is has an SPF 15 is an added bonus.  Price wise I also think it is excellent value for money.

Malibu actually offer a full suncare and aftersun range for fantastic prices and I would highly recommend them for a BUAV approved SPF.  It will protect you from both UVA and UVB and thus you can be assured that although it is a cheap sunscreen, you are not getting  half hearted sun protection for your money.  You can buy it in your local Home Bargain store or online here.

So there we have it, I really have no excuse for getting burnt in the sun when there are so many fantastic cruelty free SPF options out there for us to use!  If you are still to buy your sunscreen for the summer then hop to it 🙂

A treat for my feet

Today we out for a family day trip which meant I was walking around a fair bit in sandals.  My feet were a little sore by this evening and so I decided to pamper them a little.

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The ingredients for my feet treat

Out came my trusty foot file, heel genius foot cream and (a new one for me) volcano foot mask.  I had never used the foot mask before and so I thought it would be a great time to review it.

The foot mask is very thick and grainy in texture.  It smells a bit like those cinnamon lozenges that I loved as a child and I can imagine it would be great to use at Christmas for the scent alone.

The directions state to put it on quite thickly and to cover in a plastic bag to stop it drying out.  It also says you should scrub it into your dry areas before you wash it off.  The mask stays on for 10 minutes but I guess you can leave it on for longer or less time if required. 

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Just to give you an idea of the colour and texture – this was after I used the product, it looked much neater to start with 🙂

After I applied it I would say I had used ¼ of the tub? Perhaps a little less but I can’t imagine you would get more than 5 foot masks from the tub unless you applied a thinner layer.  Taking that into account it would mean each foot rub uses about 25g of product and would work out at £1.15 per scrub.

I left mine on for the 10 minutes but did find it had almost dried out despite putting my feet in a bag as suggested.  I put my feet into some warm water to rub it in to my dry areas and then rinsed off.  My feet did feel nice and soft in comparison to the start and they still smelt of the cinnamon which was great.

They were however still in need of me using my foot file.  After I filed my heels I applied some heel genius and socks to help moisturise my feet and I should be all good to go tomorrow again.  Even now perhaps 30 minutes after the mask my feet still have that “minty” feel – you know that cooling kind of feeling?

So would I buy the foot mask again? I honestly don’t know.  Not because I don’t think it did a good job, it did and it smells great but I’ve just never really thought about putting a foot mask on regularly.  I always associate them with pedicures which I rarely have.  Perhaps my attitude is a sign that I need to make more of an effort with my feet? 

What I will say is that if you happen to enjoy pedicures then 100% this will be right up your street!

 

 

 

LGNS London goodies in the post!

I’m sure I am not alone in loving when I get a parcel in the post.  This morning was no exception when the order I placed on Sunday evening arrived from LGNS London! Super speedy delivery saying as it was free and could only have been posted yesterday.

If you read my Sunday evening blog, you will know I was excited to recieve this one.  Ethical perfume isn’t exactly something easy to find on every high street.

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Well packaged items all securely wrapped in pretty tissue papers.

Everything was so well wrapped, right down to the card which was scented with Serenity to let me sample it.  It’s a beautiful scent and I will definitely be buying it soon.  I might even go as far as to say I think I like the sample more than the Roses and Diamonds (but both are beautiful scents).

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This was in the pretty blue paper and was scented in Serenity (which was beautiful!)

Even upon opening the perfume there was yet more pretty pink paper surrounding the bottle to keep it safe in transit.

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This is how the bottle was wrapped inside the box

The perfume itself is lovely, quite sweet and almost a bit of coconut in there behind the rose scent? Regardless, it smells exactly like the family of scents I normally like.  To give you an idea, I love Miss Dior Cherrie and La Vie Est Belle and thinking about it, the bottle is actually quite similar to that of Miss Dior Cherrie.

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The lip gloss and Mascara that I was surprised to be getting free are also fantastic.  The lip gloss isn’t sticky when going on (I hate sticky lip gloss!) and looks very natural.  The item looks quite asthetically pleasing too which is nice as who wants to own a cheap looking lip gloss?

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Lip gloss opened

The mascara has a nice rubbery mascara wand tip rather than the bristle ones which I tend to find clump after a few months of being used.  They really made a good difference to my lashes.  I would say the effect is better than that of my previous one from Lush but that may be down to me finding it easier to build the layers with the longer wand this mascara offers (the Eyes Right Mascara wand is very short and stubby) or the fact that this one has a rubbery tip while Eyes Right has bristles.

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Mascara wand

I would happily give LGNS London 10/10 for their service, both speed and customer service skills with including my sample scent in with my delivery as per my email request.  They may be a small company when compared to the big wigs in the cosmetics industry but they offer quality products that I would not hesitate to recommend.  I am also in love with the fact they are supported by the BUAV and that their products are made in the UK, thus supporting the local ecconomy.

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The all important leaping bunny was easy to photograph on the mascara

Check them out for yourself and I guarentee you will not fail to be satisfied.

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The best back scratch in the world!

Okay, so it might not be what they market this item as but it is what my other half and I have renamed it.

Last week I went to The Body Shop and bought a few items, one of which was their “Spa Fit Massager”.  I thought it would be nice to use to help stimulate circulation in my legs and also for back massage (my favourite!).  The reviews on The Body Shop website are also pretty great and say what a difference it can make to the skin tone.

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The Spa FIt Massager aka the back scratcher!

 

The massager is made of hard yellow plastic on oneside and a rubbery white side has the bumpy bits that are used to massage.  Some of the bumpy bits are rounded but a lot of them are kind of pointy.  We think this is what makes it such a good back scratcher!

It retails for £7 although with the love to shop discount I paid £6.30.  Was it worth the investment? For me yes, my other half has no nails and this has improved his back scratching a million times over and while I do have nails, he seems to think the Spa Fit Massager gives a more “even” scratch.

Our score would be 10/10 for back scratching but perhaps only 6/10 for massage.  I do however plan to use it in the shower a few times to see if it improves the tone of my legs.